Municipal Affairs and Environment

Well Drilling Licence

Well drillers must be licensed to construct, alter or repair drilled domestic (private) and non-domestic wells in Newfoundland and Labrador. A person must apply on the required form to the Water Resources Management Division of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment for a Well Drilling Licence.

New Applicant

An applicant who was not previously licensed as a Well Driller wishing to apply for a Well Drilling Licence must provide:

  • Properly filled out application with application fee;
  • Resume or CV detailing qualifications and experience;
  • Letter of reference or proof of licence in another jurisdiction; and
  • Listing of completed major projects

Upon a review of this information, the applicant will either be notified that they do not meet the provincial requirements for a Well Drilling Licence or will be contacted for a meeting to further their application. If selected for a meeting, the applicant will be notified soon after the meeting if they will be licensed or, if not, given the reason for refusal.

Previous Licence or Renewal

A previous holder of a Well Drilling Licence must reapply for each calendar year as the licence expires December 31st each year. Previously licensed well drillers must apply for licence renewal prior to 15 days from the expiry date to allow processing and licence issuance for the next calendar year. Factors that influence the renewal of a Well Drilling Licence are:

  • Contravention of the Water Resources Act, Well Drilling Regulations or any other pertinent legislation, policy, guideline, standard or other reason that the Minister may determine;
  • Properly filled out application with application fee;
  • Well Construction Record(s) submissions;
  • Unresolved complaints; and
  • renewal timeline


The Licensed Well Driller is responsible for all sections of the Water Resources Act and the Well Drilling Regulations that apply to well drilling, alterations and repair to domestic and non-domestic wells. He or she is responsible for the proper siting, drilling and construction to prevent:

  • Surface water or shallow groundwater from entering the borehole;
  • Contamination from natural or anthropogenic sources (e.g. septic systems, known natural contaminants, saltwater, etc.);
  • cross contamination of groundwater from one aquifer to another; and
  • others such as flowing wells.

A properly constructed well or borehole can serve a particular purpose while minimizing impact in subsurface formations and water bearing zones whereas an improperly constructed well or borehole can cause complete devastation to water bearing zones and render aquifers contaminated. Depending on the source and type of contamination, the aquifer(s) may be permanently impacted.

Section 55 of the Water Resources Act states that:

A person shall not
(a) for gain or reward
(i) contract to drill a well, or
(ii) drill, alter or repair a well for another person;
(b) carry on the business of well drilling; or
(c) hold himself or herself out as a well driller,
unless that person holds a licence.

The drilling and construction of domestic and non-domestic wells provides:

  • Potable groundwater supplies for domestic users (private households);
  • Potable groundwater supply for non-domestic users (e.g. Towns, Local Service Districts, Schools, Churches, Industrial, Commercial, etc.);
  • Monitoring and observation wells (e.g. climate change, well fields, etc.);
  • Access to subsurface for various exploration (e.g. minerals, geothermal, structural geology, etc.);
  • Dewatering and Injection wells; and
  • Many other uses.

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